Thursday, July 30, 2009


Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Status-Out as of 2009
4th Studio Album
Rating-3 Feathers

French band Phoenix are one of those bands: they come out with somewhat progressively better stuff, and couple of singles that could be mega hits, but they are still virtually unknown. They don’t take a whole lot of chances, never straying too far from their basic sound, but will their 4th effort ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix’ be their ticket to the big time?

The songs ‘Lisztomania’ and ‘1901’ start of the album, and honestly, have you heard a better opening? ‘Lisztomania’ is such a catchy song. It has a nice bright groove that clears your mind and sets you in the mood for dancing. Leading into ‘1901’, that mood you were in sure comes in handy: you can’t help but bop around to it. The song immediately sucks you in with synth/guitar combination, and proceeds to infect you with its relentless hooks and guitar riffs. Unfortunately, past this point, there are no other songs that make quite the same impact, but there are a few good ones. ‘Fences’ is a heavy disco-influenced tune. It’s calm, and mellows you out, but its falsetto vocals make it standout from the rest. ‘Rome’ is another one. It’s not very upbeat, like ‘Fences’, but it has this reflective quality about it. The flow of the song is perfect: it starts out very Interpol with dramatic guitars in the background, and slowly builds. However, just before it peaks, it stops and Thomas Mars has a very somber solo moment, but it quickly dives back into what it hadn’t finished. It’s absolutely perfect. Except for ‘Love Like a Sunset Pt.1 & Pt. 2’, which is an intense 6 minute mess of self-indulgence, none of the other songs really stick out. They are all well performed and generically catchy, but they are nothing to shout about.

As a whole, ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix’ was a mild disappointment. With shear awesome songs like ‘Lisztomania’ and ‘1901’, you’d expect the rest to ring loudly, but they (for the most part) only pinged. Mostly, nothing was in particularly bad, but nothing except for four were overtly fantastic. I do feel that ‘Wolfgang’ was a quality effort, and I’m a Phoenix fan now, but I doubt it’ll really make them known for more than that band with the guy who was almost in Daft Punk.

“When we were recording it, I listened for one month only to the Smiths, every album. Then I got bored and listened only to Crosby, Stills Nash and Young. But only the songs written by David Crosby.”-Laurent Brancowitz


Recommendations: Lisztomania, 1901, Fences, Rome
Phoenix's Official Website
Note: I hope you like this, it was one of the easiest reviews I written in a long while, but I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing. I will be working on MGMT or oF Montreal so stay tuned. I appreciate your comments!

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